As a homeowner, you have a plethora of responsibilities on your plate, one of which is maintaining your home’s plumbing system. By adhering to a monthly plumbing maintenance checklist, you can preemptively tackle issues before they escalate into costly repairs. This guide outlines a comprehensive home plumbing maintenance checklist, removing the guesswork from your monthly routine.
Understanding your home’s plumbing system, including the intricate network of plumbing pipes, is the first step towards effective maintenance. Plumbing issues range from minor annoyances to catastrophic problems that could damage your home, making preventative measures essential. With this guide, you’ll learn how to spot early signs of trouble in your plumbing systems and discover practical steps to prevent them from escalating.
Read on to empower yourself with knowledge and tools to maintain your home’s plumbing health, save money, and enjoy the peace of mind of a well-maintained home.
Plumbing System: An Overview and Why Maintenance Matters
Your plumbing system is a complex network of pipes, fixtures, and appliances that deliver water to your home and expel waste. It’s a critical component of your home and deserves regular attention. Plumbing maintenance is crucial in preserving your home’s water pressure, preventing water leaks, and avoiding serious plumbing problems.
A well-maintained plumbing system ensures that your home remains comfortable and functional. It also saves you money in the long run by preventing major issues. Following our plumbing maintenance checklist, you engage in preventive maintenance that safeguards your home.
Your Monthly Plumbing Maintenance Checklist
Check Water Pressure
Water pressure is the force that moves water through your home’s pipes. An ideal water pressure level ensures a strong yet gentle flow from your taps and showerheads. Monitoring your home’s water pressure should be part of your monthly routine. A sudden drop in water pressure could indicate a clog or leak in your plumbing system.
Similarly, a spike might be a sign of a problem with the pressure relief valve. If you notice a significant change in your water pressure, it’s best to call a professional plumber for an assessment.
How to check water pressure:
Monitoring your home’s water pressure is simple. You can use a water pressure gauge, easily attached to an outside water spigot or your washing machine’s cold or hot water bib. Once connected, open the water line. The gauge will give a reading of your home’s water pressure. Ideal residential water pressure is typically between 60 and 70 psi (pounds per square inch). If your reading is outside this range, it may be best to call a plumber.
Inspect Exposed Pipes and Drains
Pipes and drains run throughout your home, some visible and others concealed within walls or floors. Additionally, check sink drains for slow drainage. Slow drains could be a precursor to a complete blockage, which, if left unchecked, could result in a plumbing emergency.
How to inspect pipes:
Begin by visually inspecting all exposed pipes in your home, such as those under sinks or in your basement. Look for signs of corrosion, leaks, or moisture. For your drains, fill up sinks and tubs with water and then watch how quickly the water drains. If it drains slowly, you may have a blockage developing. You may need to use a flashlight or a moisture meter to check for dampness for hidden areas.
Assess Your Water Heater
Your water heater plays a crucial role in providing comfort in your home, supplying hot water for showers, dishwashing, and laundry. Regular assessments of your water heater can prevent unexpected breakdowns.
How to assess your water heater:
Check the temperature setting on your water heater; it should be set at around 50°C. This is usually displayed on a thermostat located on the water heater. If you see any signs of corrosion on the tank or water pooling around the base, it’s time to call a professional. This could indicate a leak or a tank that’s nearing the end of its lifespan.
Examine Washing Machine Hoses
The hoses on your washing machine can become a significant source of a plumbing issue if they fail. Over time, these hoses can wear out, leading to leaks or even a burst hose, which can cause extensive water damage.
How to examine washing machine hoses:
Inspect the hoses at the back of your washing machine. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, bulges, or wetness. It’s a good idea to replace these hoses every three to five years or immediately if you notice any signs of wear. Turn off the water supply before removing the old hoses and installing the new ones.
Check Your Septic System
It’s crucial to have regular checks for homes with a septic system. Septic tanks collect all the wastewater from your home and, if not maintained, can back up or cause unpleasant odours. Generally, a septic tank should be inspected and pumped every three to five years, depending on use, to prevent system failure. This task is best left to professional septic service providers.
Maintain Garbage Disposal and Drains
Garbage disposal units need regular maintenance to keep them working efficiently. Avoid letting bath oils, hair, food scraps, or grease enter the drain, as they can lead to blockages. Slow-draining water is often a sign of a clog forming and should be addressed promptly.
How to maintain garbage disposal units and drains:
Turn on the cold water for your garbage disposal and then the disposal. Drop a handful of ice cubes and a slice of lemon into the disposal. The ice helps to sharpen the blades, while the lemon freshens the drain.
To maintain your drains, try to keep them free of hair and food scraps. You can use a drain strainer to catch any debris. If the water seems to be draining slowly, you should use a plunger or a plumber’s snake to clear the blockage.
Toilets are a critical part of your home’s plumbing system. Inspecting your toilet’s components, like the flapper, for wear is necessary. A worn-out flapper can cause your toilet to run continuously, increasing water consumption and higher utility bills. Replacing a flapper is a simple task that can save water and money.
How to maintain your toilet flapper:
To inspect the toilet flapper, first, turn off the water supply to the toilet. Then, flush the toilet to drain the water from the tank. Check the flapper (the rubber part at the bottom of the tank) for any signs of wear or damage. If it looks worn out, simply remove it and take it to your local hardware store to find a replacement. Install the new flapper and turn the water supply back on.
Seasonal Plumbing Maintenance Tasks
Aside from monthly checks, there are also seasonal tasks to consider. For example, as trees start growing, ensure your main sewer line is not blocked by tree roots, which can cause severe drainage problems.
How to maintain your plumbing in different seasons:
During spring, summer, and fall, it’s important to be proactive about plumbing maintenance to prevent clogs, leaks, and damage. Schedule annual inspections of your water heater, pipes, and drainage systems to identify and address minor issues before they become major problems.
Flush out plumbing to remove any sediment buildup and run water through seldom-used taps and water heaters to prevent bacterial growth in stagnant water. Pour a drain cleaner down seldom-used drains once a month to keep them clear.
Check for soft spots in hoses and replace worn washers and pipes as needed. Keep an eye out for leaks and drips both indoors and out, and repair them promptly to prevent water waste, flooding, and rot. You can avoid plumbing disasters year-round. With diligent preventative maintenance and quick fixes during warmer months.
When to Call a Local Plumber
Regular maintenance and checks can help keep your plumbing system in good condition, but there are certain situations where professional help is needed. Here are some signs that it’s time to call a local plumber:
- Persistent Low Water Pressure: This could indicate a blockage or leak in your plumbing system.
- Water Marks on Walls or Ceilings: These can be signs of a hidden leak that needs immediate attention.
- Visible Pipe Corrosion: Corrosion can lead to leaks and water quality issues.
- Water Heater Issues: If your water heater isn’t functioning properly, it might need professional repair or replacement.
- Repeated Drain Clogs: Frequent clogs could signal a more serious issue in your drainage system.
- Sewage Backups or Odours: Regular backups or persistent foul odours may point to a problem with your main sewer line.
- Water Bill Spikes: An unexplained increase in your water bill could be a sign of a hidden leak.
Professional plumbing services cover a wide range of issues. From fixing leaks and unclogging main sewer lines to installing new appliances and ensuring your plumbing system is up to code, your local plumber is equipped to handle it all.
Ensuring a Healthy Home Plumbing System
By adhering to a robust plumbing maintenance checklist, you can notably extend the lifespan of your plumbing system and evade expensive plumbing issues. Each activity, from checking water pressure to inspecting your water heater and maintaining your septic system, plays a vital role in preserving the health of your home’s plumbing system.
Never hesitate to contact a professional for all your plumbing needs. At Gold Coast Plumbing Experts, we emphasise prevention over fixing significant issues. Make us your partner in maintaining your plumbing system, and we promise to deliver outstanding service that keeps your home running smoothly.
Don’t wait for a plumbing emergency to happen. Contact Gold Coast Plumbing Experts today and let us help you maintain a reliable, efficient home plumbing system.